Recently Mars Candies announced they will post new labeling on their family of candy bars. They realize that added sugar is not included in the labels and are progressively supporting the change in labeling guidelines to help consumers enjoy the occasional candy bar snack.
Registered dietician Dawn Jackson Blatner told us, "Right now the term 'added sugar' is not on labels. Natural sugar and added sugar both are currently lumped under the general term 'sugar'."
This means that the consumer doesn't really know if the sugar comes from fruits or other sources as compared to sugar that is added for flavor.
Blatner added, "There is a push to add a separate 'added sugar' section on the label and MARS has come out in support of that. This is a big win for consumers who want to know more about what’s in their food."
Our favorite Twix, M&M's and Snickers candy manufacturer supports recommendations from leading health authorities that advise people to limit their intake of sugars, particularly those added to foods, to no more than 10 percent of their total caloric intake.
Blatner also said, "Although, there is no official dietary guideline on how much added sugar to have each day, in February 2015 an initial scientific report suggests no more than 10 percent of daily calories should come from sugar. So, on a 2,000 calorie diet, that would be 200 calories or 50 grams (12 teaspoons) of sugar." Blatner added, "This is a recommendation higher than the 2009 American Heart Association sugar recommendations: Most women should limit added sugars to 100 calories a day (6 teaspoons) and most men 150 calories a day (9 teaspoons)."
In either case, the understanding that balance is key in a healthy diet is the real take-away.
Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, CSSD, LDN is the author of The Flexitarian Diet (McGraw Hill) a Nutrition Consultant to the Chicago Cubs.